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Wintingo is the latest online casino to pull out of the Australian market, leaving Aussie players with one less safe choice when it comes to playing pokies for real money online.
The announcement was made via email, with players notified that Wintingo would no longer be accepting bets from Australian players after July 1st. The email said players would still be able to access their accounts and withdraw any remaining balances.
Wintingo, which is a multi-provider casino site offering games from leading software developers like NetEnt, Microgaming and iSoftBet, is run by the Digimedia Group and has been in operation for over a decade. It holds a casino licensed from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and is certified with eCOGRA’s safe and fair seal of approval.
The casino’s withdrawal from the Australian market comes after changes were approved in Australian parliament in March 2017 to alter the wording of the current online gambling laws under the Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). The Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 intends to clear up the grey areas surrounding the country’s online gambling laws, making it illegal for any online gambling operator to offer service to Aussie players unless it holds a license under the law of any Australian state or territory.
Other leading casino sites to pull out of the Australian market include 32Red, Roxy Palace and Guts.
Can Aussies still play pokies online?
While the changes to the IGA are yet to come into full effect, it won’t be long before Australians are prohibited from playing for real money at online casino sites. Despite the changes to the laws, many offshore casino sites have made it clear they intend to continue to service the Aussie market while running under the laws and strict regulations set by their foreign online gambling jurisdiction.
The Gambling Amendment Bill 2016 will target offshore casino operators, but no penalties have been imposed for players, so technically Aussie punters will be able to service these offshore casino sites without any punishment – although doing so will be at your own risk. The rising use of VPNs (virtual private networks) will make the new laws even harder to enforce.
If Aussie players do choose to ignore the laws and play online, it will be more important than ever to stick with safe, reputable casino sites that have legitimate licensing by an offshore gambling jurisdiction and are accredited by all the proper industry watchdogs.
For a full list of casino sites that still service Australians, visit Real Money Casino Sites.